I know, we don’t have one and don’t want one. We believe in soul competency and the priesthood of the believers. But the idea of having unfettered power to implement my ideas has its appeal. Here are some things I would do if I had papal power for a while. You can add your papal bull (sorry, I couldn’t resist that bit of Iowa corn) in the comments below. Or you can describe your pleasure that I, in fact, have no power.
1) I would change the way we do seminary edumacation. I’ve thought a lot about this one. I’ve seen young whippersnappers come out of seminaries with heads full of unrealistic notions of pastoral ministry. Actually, I think our recent seminary grads are amazingly adept at theology. But seminary can prepare you for blogging, but it cannot prepare you for ministry.
Here’s why Pope Dave I would do. Seminaries would be four year events, but only 2 of those years would be on site. Young skulls full of mush would go to Louisville or Ft. Worth or wherever, have their brains opened and as much knowledge dumped in there in two years as possible. Then, they idealistic whippersnappers would be sent out as interns in churches around the country to actually work in ministry. They would shadow pastors, be asked to do actual ministry and serve a church for two full years.
You don’t get to be a doctor by graduating med school. You have to do an internship. In Iowa, I’ve seen a lot of recent seminary graduates put into ministries with almost no experience. Some have worked out. Many have floundered and failed.
2) I would order us not to count any numbers but offerings for 5 years. Yes, numbers matter, but not as much as we seem to think they do. We have to count offerings – there are laws and fiscal integrity is a spiritual issue. But Why does it matter if we had 250 or 260 last Sunday? Let’s just do the ministry and not worry about the numbers, for a time.
I know what some of you will say. I’ve heard it all before. I understand your point about the importance of numbers. But let’s work on doing it right, building the quality of our ministries and not worry about numbers. There is always a danger, a tendency when we are so statistically-based and motivated, that we would do what builds numbers and not what builds the Kingdom.
3) I would …okay, you tell me.
I have to go visit a dying member and maybe I will think of something else why I am gone. You can add your own ideas or analyse mine. The Yankees don’t play today – something about some rain showers on the east coast. So, I’ve got time to discuss.